PSYCHEDELIC NIGHTMARES BY SKINNER

by Ariadna Zierold

skinner, psychedelic, bizarre, nightmares, colorful, monsters, upper playground

Skinner is a self-taught artist living in Oakland, California who has meticulously crafted a balance of extraordinary mural work and bizarre and antagonistic installations, while maintaing a prolific commercial career. Influenced by 80’s pop culture, human struggle, myths and violence, dungeons and dragons and the heavy metal gods, Skinner’s mind is one of psycho social mayhem fueled by a calculated chaos.

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SURREALISTIC BESTIARY BY HELL’O MONSTERS

by Ariadna Zierold

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Hell’O Monsters, a collective of Belgian artists, started by using exterior walls as their canvas, but it was within the walls of their studio that the uniform and homogeneous identity of the duo was forged.

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Quite rapidly the strict aesthetic codes that they established based on mastering the line and graphic leitmotiv, were applied to designs, paintings, sculptures and installations. The creative approach is characterized by an extremely conventional freedom paired with meticulous execution. Their universe is inhabited by a surrealistic bestiary of mysterious animals, hybrid characters, architecture and badass geometry.

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TWISTED VISIONS BY JOE VAUX

by Ariadna Zierold

joe vaux, animation, illustration, dark, humor, creepy, bizarre creatures, monsters, upper playground

Los Angeles based artist Joe Vaux was born in Islip, New York. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1994 with BFA Illustration, after which time he started his career in the animation industry. Joe’s fine art has been exhibited internationally and has also participated in numerous group and solo shows, as well as a couple of museum exhibits, including the Suggestivism show at Grand Central Art Center in 2011.

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His work as a director on the the hugely popular animated TV series ‘Family Guy’ has made his name known to most. However, Vaux also engages his boundless imagination and creative skills as a prodigious fine artist, leading viewers into a bizarre, yet strangely familiar world, populated with ghoulish creatures who collectively engender twisted visions with generous spoonfuls of humor. Vaux injects a remarkably playful and distinctly human flavor to his narratives, often shining a light -although a creepy one- on our dreams and fears.

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DEMENTED ENCHANTMENT BY MATT DANGLER

by Ariadna Zierold

matt dangler, painting, surreal, monsters, characters, dream, fantasy, upper playground

New Jersey-based artist Matt Dangler’s imaginative explorations continue to evolve as the artist uncovers new facets of his consciousness and broadens the horizon of his spiritual journey with each new painting. Via the induction of a meditative state, which is at the core of his creative practice, Dangler looks inward, in pursuit of glimpses into the true essence of the self; not just in relation to his own being, but of a universal nature, much akin to that found within the Jungian archetypes and what can be derived from our private dream worlds.

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By opening himself up to the mysterious cues and metaphors his psyche provides him, Dangler constructs fantastically inspired and engaging imagery, which contains the power to reveal new and undiscovered aspects of the personalities of each and every one of us, by speaking directly to our subconscious and therefore our inherent inner beings.

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CREATURE PORTRAITS BY TRAVIS LOUIE

by Ariadna Zierold

travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground

Travis Louie was born in Queens, New York in 1964 and is currently living and working in the Hudson Valley area. He paints fascinating portraits which appear to have been unearthed from dusty vaults originating from the bygone days of some 19th century alternative reality. Louie’s portfolio is a truly magnificent archive of monochrome and sepia tinted imagery, all populated with curious characters and charismatic creatures, adorned in their finest Sunday bests; which, one can only assume, were lovingly pulled off the hangers from within their Victorian era closets and worn with pride.

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Although Louie’s aesthetic may affectionately borrow from the past, much of the inspiration for his thematic content is very much rooted within his experiences in the present. Being an Asian American and having been exposed to the torment of racism and xenophobia while growing up, Louie imbues his wonderful ensemble of characters with his powerful empathetic emotions, through which they essentially personify a triumphant celebration of our contemporary cultures’ multiracial diversity.

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DARK INK DRAWINGS BY JON MACNAIR

by Ariadna Zierold

jon macnair, drawing, dark, ink, monochromatic, monsters, upper playground

Portland based artist Jon MacNair’s work is greatly inspired by popular children’s literature, fairytales, and Renaissance art. He is well known for his fantastical, quirky ink drawings, often labeled as “dark”.

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Jon’s drawings of horned monsters and other mythological creatures share an aesthetic with their medieval predecessors but underneath their scary exteriors, are not so different from us: they go sailing, take naps in trees, send each other letters, and have lots of misadventures together.

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THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND OF AUGUST VILELLA

by Ariadna Zierold

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Barcelona based artist August Vilella frequently describes his oil paintings as images of “his past and future through the subconscious mind.” The large central figures of his work are monstrous creatures with giant, protruding eyes drawn from his imagination. With their long, deformed and almost insect-like bodies that seem to dissipate into the air, we should feel repulsed by their appearance, and yet their big-eyed expressions evoke feelings of empathy; loneliness, despair, longing, and hope are all themes represented by Vilella’s creatures.

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HAIRY CREATURES BY DAN MAY

by Ariadna Zierold

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Dan May is a modern narrative painter. A native of Rochester, NY, Dan attended Syracuse University where he achieved a BFA and began to immediately pursue his artistic interests. May weaves a rich texture of the surreal and mysterious into his highly original flowing style. His detail-intensive works have become widely recognized for their dreamlike ability to transcend the natural states of space and time. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world. Dan lives and works in northern Michigan with his wife, Kendal and their son, Max.

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THE MYTHOLOGICAL LENS OF SADDO

by Ariadna Zierold

saddo, raul oprea, romania, mythological, painting, monsters, upper playground

Saddo is the alias of Raul Oprea, a Romanian artist who cut his teeth in a street art collective called ‘The Playground’, which he founded around ten years ago. Since then, Saddo has been making a name for himself as a fine artist within the New Contemporary gallery scene. Tackling big themes head on, he explores the likes of death, mortality, violence and war, opting to view his subject matter through a mythological lens. Saddo’s fascination with religion and mythology extends back years and pervades many of his works, as he contemplates how tales and beliefs have travelled between different cultures, all the while growing and morphing into new entities.

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FURRY CREATURES BY PECA

by Ariadna Zierold

peca, paintings, creatures, furry, multi-eyed, surreal, fantasy, monsters, upper playground

Barcelona artist Peca has been an artist since childhood. Peca feels that a new world opened up to her recently when she began meditating. The artist feels that her works are self-portraits, and are ways for her to communicate the encrypted experiences that she experiences in life. Peca’s paintings feature strange spiritual entities- multi-eyed furry creatures made of ‘star stuff’ that bleed strawberry juice, and exhale galaxies.

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